Discover the best top things to do in Melrose, United Kingdom (UK) including Abbotsford House, Scott's View, The Scottish Borders Donkey Sanctuary, Smailholm Tower, Melrose Abbey, Dryburgh Abbey, Milestone Garden and Leisure, Waverley Line Artwork, Eildon Hills, William Wallace Statue.
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4.5 based on 775 reviews
Perhaps nowhere else in the world can evoke the power of the romantic past more than Abbotsford, stunningly located on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders. Abbotsford sits at the heart of the landscape that inspired the poetry and novels of its creator, Sir Walter Scott. Unlike the homes of other great writers, this is a house that the writer himself designed and as such uniquely embodies a physical representation of the Romantic Movement that he helped to create. When you touch the bricks and mortar of Abbotsford, you are touching the soul of Scott. Our new FREE to access Visitor Centre is home to a Stylish Restaurant, Gift Shop and Exhibition on the life and legacy of Sir Walter Scott.
The newly revamped experience is marginally better than in previous decades. The visitor centre is good (service is sluggish in the cafe) but less of the house seems open (?) and I miss the personal touch of the old guides..... but this is a brilliant half-day out focussed a true legend of man and his artefacts, or whole day out when combined with Melrose town centre and its abbey.
4.5 based on 212 reviews
Even on a misty, rainy morning there is something magical about the countryside of Scotland. Although it would have been nice to have the vista that I have seen published before (the hills and Valleys laid out for miles before us), it was still beautiful. Well worth the trip down the back roads to find it and hopefully we'll return for another gorgeous view.
5 based on 43 reviews
Interesting and fun to visit. A must if you are in the area. We've visited a few times and will keep coming back.
4.5 based on 153 reviews
Sited high on a rocky outcrop, Smailholm is a small rectangular tower set within a stone barmkin wall. This 65 ft towerhouse was built by a well-known Scottish Borders family in the first half of the 15th century, and today you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside from Smailholm Tower’s battlements. Inside the tower is a model of this Pringle residence and a charming collection of costume figures and tapestries relating to Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders. It was the sight of Smailholm that fired Walter Scott's imagination when, as a young boy, he was brought up by his grandparents at the nearby farm of Sandyknowe.
If you like Scottish history, Northumbrian history or Sir Walter Scott....then this is a plae to come and visit. It is not a huge attraction and the signage to get here is not the best. The road is small, narrow and bumpy and you pass through some farms to get here. The view that awaits is a good reward for your efforts, however. There is a very small parking area, with space for only a few cars, and there is a small historical tablet. It is a short hike up to the actual tower. You will get a good idea what life was like in the border region, where there was a lot of raiding back and forth in the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, so having a fortified manor house/tower was a good investment. The surrounding landscape does not look that different from what it was like centuries ago, and therefore it is easy to imagine what life was like at the time. The Panorama is impressive and when the weather is good, you can see quite a distance. The actual is small and has not been overly commercialized, which also means that there is not a lot to see once you hike to the front door. The views are great, however. This is not a huge castle, however, so be reasonable n your expectations. If you are in Kelso, you should visit Smailholm, its not the far...or if you are heading to/from Lindisfarne.
4.5 based on 848 reviews
Probably the most famous ruin in Scotland, the abbey was founded by David I in 1136 for the Cistercian Order, and it was largely destroyed by Richard II's English army in 1385. The surviving remains of the church are of the early 15th century, and are of an elegance unsurpassed in Scotland. Objects found during excavation are displayed in the Commendator's House. The exterior of this magnificent ruin is decorated by unusual sculptures, including hobgoblins, cooks with ladles and a bagpipe playing pig. The abbey is also thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque within the grounds.
We were staying nearby and decided to look around Melrose. A nice little village with a few shops and restaurants but the Abbey is the centre piece. Would have been an amazing sight when it was habitable but as it is in ruins there isn't much to see. There were 4 of us and we couldn't justify paying almost £24 to walk round. Should be more affordable for everyones benefit.
4.5 based on 273 reviews
First established in 1150, Dryburgh Abbey became the premier house in Scotland of the Premonstratensian order and today continues to have a peaceful atmosphere. Despite having been set on fire three times, the chapter house features paintwork that dates back to its construction and today boasts some of the best Gothic architecture in Scotland. These graceful ruins became the burial place of David Eskrine, 11th Earl of Buchan in 1829, and three years later his friend Sir Walter Scott was also buried here.
Stunning location and well worth a visit even if this requires a detour. We combined with a stay at the Abbey Hotel and had a really relaxing and enjoyable stay.
4 based on 57 reviews
This is a very handy place to come for lunch or coffee, however I feel that they are not keeping up the standard of their nearby competitors. Need to offer more selection of cakes and improve quality of food. Doesn't help that dishes are sitting out on a hot plate when other venues are cooking fresh.
5 based on 13 reviews
Hand screen printed artwork by Jane Fleming, commissioned by Scottish Ministers to mark the 200th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott's 'Waverley' novels and the return of the Waverley Line. Individual posters for each station also hand screen printed by Jane can be viewed at each stop down the line.
Never expected such well thought out and well presented artwork would be on show. Shame there is no postcards etc to buy - well done to the young artist.
4.5 based on 84 reviews
For those accustomed to hillwalking this is a fairly gentle walk up two (or three) peaks located above the Scottish border town of Melrose. Access either from Melrose centre or park by a small loch just past the golf course. Up all peaks and back down to Melrose can be done in under 3 hours
4.5 based on 130 reviews
Free to visit, this little gem is on the road between Dryburgh and Melrose/Abbotsford. There is a small parking area for maybe ten vehicles. Go through the gate and follow the path. You will come to the monument after about five minutes walk through a fragrant forest. The statue and surrounding area is almost overgrown, but it is still clearly visible from the side.
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